tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC June 9, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT
assassination. here's one story of how that works in america today. 911. >> somebody just came in and shot somebody at our church. dr. george tiller was just shot. >> why did you kill him? >> the lives of those children were in imminent danger if someone did not stop george tiller. i was meant to have a cause. i was meant to have a purpose. >> mr. tiller set himself up as the abortion provider for all late term abortions. >> some people despised him obviously. some people thought he was a great humanitarian, providing a necessary service. >> the anti-abortion movement had one mission in wichita, kansas -- shut down dr. george tiller's clinic by any means necessary. >> stop killing babies. >> their approach was to wear him down and to peck at him from every angle. >> find out where the child
killer lives, find out where her wife has her hair done. >> from harassing him personally at his home, from harassing the staff, patients coming into the clinic. >> he was a vile, despicable human being. he was a murderer. >> out there somewhere is one soul who is listening to all of this and wants to be the person that rights the wrong. >> if someone did not stop him, they were going to continue to die. the babies were going to continue to die. >> as he thought, he was the redeemer. >> the day that this happened was a beautiful day. service started by music being played. >> jeannie tiller was singing with the choir. george tiller was an usher. his name was printed in the bulletin.
>> i looked at my watch and seen it was a couple minutes before 10:00. there was a pastry table, and i'd made my way over to the table, just george and i. i was facing more towards the sanctuary. george had his back to the sanctuary doors. out of my peripheral vision, i noticed somebody coming up to the table. so i looked. just as i looked up, i seen scott roeder put a gun up to the side of george's head and fire one shot. >> i heard a pop, just like a firecracker. there was a considerable amount of evidence of bleeding that was occurring. i did start a resuscitation on dr. tiller in an effort to see if we could get response. >> just seconds after shooting dr. george tiller in the head, scott roeder turns and runs out of the reformation church. he is pursued by two men. keith martin and gary hoepner.
>> i, out of instinct, just followed him right out the door. he was running through the grass. he turned around, and he yelled over his shoulder, i've got a gun. i'll shoot you. i just froze. >> roeder kept running. keith martin took a different direction out. got to his vehicle, stood in front of it. he says, get out of my way. i'll kill you too. roeder was driving out. so they were next to each other and threw a cup of coffee at him. roeder then left. >> around 1:30 in the afternoon, johnson county deputies take it upon themselves to watch interstate 35, which is the main road that comes into kansas city, and we're watching for the taurus and the tag that we would broadcast. >> and they pulled him over. >> step out of the vehicle and face away from me. >> they get roeder out of the
car. put his hands behind his back to lie down. they go down there. they cuff him, and he's in custody. >> it's no mystery who pulled the trigger, but authorities work to track down any known associates of roeder's to learn whether others were involved. >> we had talked to his ex-employers. we talked to friends. we talked to members of his bible studies. we talked to his family. he did this very secretive. >> three days after the shooting, scott roeder meets with his defense team. >> we told scott, please don't talk to anyone about this, but he thought the issue was bigger than him. people needed to know about the horrors of abortion. slowly but surely, he just leaked everything out, said everything he'd done and why he'd done it. >> and he fired one shot into dr. tiller. >> roeder is charged with first degree murder. he and his lawyers devise a
defense strategy that's based on his feelings about abortion. >> the defendant's belief was that he was justified in shooting dr. tiller because it was imminent that he was going to do abortions the next day, and therefore, he, scott roeder, was protecting the lives of the unborn by killing the killer before he committed the act. then, of course, roeder testified. >> i've been trying cases on both sides for 20 years. it was kind of a surreal experience knowing that i'm going to put my client up, and he was going to admit to his crime. >> why did you kill him? >> the lives of those children were in imminent danger. if someone did not stop george tiller, he was going to continue as he'd done for 36 years prior to that time. if someone did not stop him, they were going to continue to die. the babies were going to continue to die. >> i was just furious at scott
roeder, and then i realized pretty soon that scott roeder is a rather dull guy. you know, he doesn't seem like he's the brightest light in the string, and he was reacting to an atmosphere of hatred. >> because to me he's just -- he's just a tool. i mean, the climate was such that he could do this act. if the climate had not been like that, if everyone had been doing their job, scott roeder would not have killed dr. tiller. into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ shapiro ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality.
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bundling and saving made easy. now, that's progressive. call or click today. progressive saved me money on my car insurance for doing the right thing behind the wheel. what a concept. excuse me, sir, do you know how fast you were going? exactly 25 miles per hour. that makes you a safe driver. keep driving safe. -are you serious? -absolutely. i couldn't help but notice, you applied your brakes smoothly and evenly. you know, progressive rewards safe drivers. think of this as a reward forward. thank you! nice -- you stopped at the stop sign. you qualify for a safe driver discount. wow! keep safe and keep saving. long before scott roeder shoots and kills dr. george tiller in his church in may of 2009, america had a long history of extreme violence against abortion providers and their employees.
1993, dr. david gunn is shot to death in pensacola, florida. 1994, two clinic workers are murdered in brookline, massachusetts. 1998, dr. barnett sluffian is gunned down by a sniper as he stands in his own kitchen in buffalo, new york. in addition to three other murders, the national abortion federation reports that more than 200 american clinics have been subjected to bombs a arson since 1977. >> those are acts of domestic terrorism, which are intend ed o intimidate. so if i kill one doctor, maybe i'll intimidate 100 doctors. >> my business is legal. their business of anarchy is illegal. >> george tiller was one doctor who could not be intimidated. he was one of just three physicians in the united states who specialized in abortions done in the second and third
trimesters of pregnancy. >> he was not shy about publicizing what he did, and he certainly never apologized for what he did. so it was a love/hate thing. very few people had no feelings regarding dr. tiller. >> the first real flash of violence strikes in 1986, when a bomb is set off at the entrance to his clinic. >> we have had a major $100,000 bombing here in our organization, and one day later, we're in business. >> stop killing babies! >> five years later, starting in july of 1991, wichita is the back drop to an event known by anti-abortionists as the summer of mercy. >> it was a huge event. it was carried on the national news media nightly. >> i don't think that wichita wanted to be the focal point of the summer of mercy. but the truth of the matter is
you had one of the most notorious child killers in the world there, and that was the price that that community had to pay for having this demonic barbarian in their midst. >> we fear god, the supreme judge of the world, more than we fear any federal judge. >> in 1991, randall terry is the fiery leader of the ant anti-abortion group operation rescue, which organizes the mission. their goal is to disrupt and ultimately close george tiller's clinic. >> some people would chain themselves underneath the car, and the whole point was to buy time. as long as we were sitting in front of the doors of the abortion clinic, he couldn't open. >> we were under siege the whole time. we had patients who would come in from out of town, and the protesters wouldn't let them get through.
something that was legal, it felt like we were doing something wrong. >> there were over 2,500 arrests during the siege. >> it was a wonderful event, just a the lot of people letting the world know the abortion industry was put on notice that we were going to defend the unborn baby until the law is changed. >> the volatile events of the summer of 1991 do not change any of the laws on abortion in the state of kansas, and they do not force george tiller to close his clinic doors and leave wichita. his roots in the city are deep, going back more than a century. and while dr. tiller always aimed to practice medicine, he had never intended to specialize in abortion. dr. tiller's father jack tiller was a family physician in wichita, kansas, quite renowned,
and dr. tiller himself went to medical school. >> he was a flight surgeon in the navy when his parents and sister and brother-in-law got killed in an airplane accident. >> so dr. tiller came back to wichita, and i think he was going to close the practice and somehow decided to stay and take over the practice, which was family practice. >> in 2000, dr. tiller is interviewed by the group physicians for reproductive choice and health. he explains what drove him to focus on abortion. >> patients in the practice began to ask me if i was willing to do abortions like my father did, and i was horrified. why would these nice people say that he was that kind of physician? but the women in my father's practice for whom he did abortions educated me and taught me that abortion is a matter of survival for women? >> he took care of patients and
women and families that nobody else was able to take care of. >> well, i think he was very sure of himself, you know, that this is the right thing. he was very determined. >> but dr. tiller's resolve is not enough to protect his clinic or himself from further violence. >> i saw the gun pointed into the window and fired the shots, and it was silver. she turned and took off. >> in 1993, an anti-abortion extremist attacks dr. tiller as he's leaving work. >> it was 7:00 in the evening, and i think somebody comes up to hand me an anti-abortion booklet, and i thought, come on. i was really pretty fired up, so i gave her the finger. the next thing i know, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. and then i was holding my arms, and i thought to myself, that lady is shooting me with rubber bullets. i'm not afraid of rubber bullets. then i looked down at my arms,
and there was blood all over the place. >> she shot him through the window and hit his left arm and also his right arm. the bullet went through both arms. >> the shooter is quickly arrested and identified as rochelle "shelly" shannon, a woman authorities soon tied to bombings of other clinics. >> shelly shannon was a solid believer that violence was appropriate and that she was going to get the job done. she wasn't a very good shot, thank god. >> the doctors recommended that he take a few days off. he said, no, i'm going to work. i have patients. >> you know, i'm just like my patients. last night i got shot, and i was scared. but there was somebody there to take care of me. >> so the next day, he just came in. his arms are bandaged, just work as usual. >> he put up a big sign in front of his clinic that said, "women
need abortions, and i'm going to do them." this is legal, it's a required service, and i'm going to do it. >> there was never any question in my mind that i was not going back to work the next day. i was going to work hell or high water. i am not going to be run over. i'm not going to be run out. it's just that simple. whoa. right? get. out. exactly! really?! [ mom ] what? shut the front door. right? woop-woop! franklin delano! [ male announcer ] hey! there's oreo creme under that fudge! oreo fudge cremes. indescribably good.
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if you can't put up with the heat from society, don't get in it. it is not an avocation, it is a mission. >> for nearly 40 years, dr. george tiller offered a medical facility that specialized not only in abortions but those that occurred in the later months of pregnancy. controversy never ceased to swirl around dr. tiller's clinic. for the doctors and staff who worked alongside him, taking a position there was always much more than just a job. >> i think this work is not just work. it's not the kind of thing, oh, this is just my job, so i'm going to go 9:00 to 5:00. it's a deep desire to help
people in incredibly desperate situations. there was just such pain. >> they were all catastrophes. you don't pick up and go from new york or washington state or france or new zealand and travel to wichita, kansas, on a whim. >> abortion has nothing to do with whether you're for it or against it. it just depends totally on your situation, and there were lots and lots of situations. >> three women who went to dr. tiller have chosen to share their stories here, but none all feel comfortable revealing their identities. >> it's important that i stay anonymous because this story isn't just my story. it's also my family's story. i also think that there's really no need to put a face to my story since it could be anybody really.
>> i was, i believe, about 25 weeks pregnant. what we were told was she had less than a 3% chance of living through the birth. >> i grew to have dreams for this child already. i had the nursery done, and the fear that the child would be severely disabled and i would not be able to care for him. >> dr. tiller was the last option for people in my situation. that was the toughest choice i've ever had to make and probably will ever have to make. >> like most other abortion clinics around the world, the majority of procedures done at dr. tiller's clinic were for first trimester pregnancies, but for the second and third trimester procedures, dr. tiller and his staff provided much more specialized care. >> we divided the third trimester patients into two
groups, fetal indications and maternal indications. the fetal indications group were the situation where there was something very, very wrong with the baby. >> and the other group were abortions that were being done for maternal indications. many of these women were suicid suicidal. some of them were just ridiculously young, like 11 or 12 or 13. and this group of young women had to meet with a second doctor who had to agree that this pregnancy represented a threat to their health. >> the biggest challenge was not the work itself, but the challenges were really outside the clinic. >> we started the presence at tiller's gate with the intention of shutting down the tiller abortion facility. that was the ultimate goal. >> we would show up at the
abortion clinic long before it would open and begin placing a series of christian crosses along the public easement. we parked the truth truck with the pictures of aborted children right across from his driveway. shortly after that, the patients would begin to arrive. >> it was a long quiet ride into wichita. we had been warned that there would be picketers and protesters out front. >> there was a guy who came every wednesday, and he would climb up on the table with a megaphone and look over our fence and scream through the megaphone at the people who came in. you in the lincoln, you have enough money to support a baby. why are you killing your baby? >> don't kill your baby. we'll help you. >> we'll give you a baby blanket and send you to the welfare office. we'll help. >> if you could just break down that initial resistance and just
start a conversation. >> if i've got 15 seconds, my first 5 or 8 seconds might be really tender and pleading with them. then my voice gets more shrill. don't do this. don't let them murder your baby. mommy, please don't kill me. mommy, don't kill me. while they're going through the door and it's shutting, just the hope that some phrase that i say to them are haunting them in the waiting room. >> the patients were already sad to be coming here, and to be barraged with this constant hatred. they were already conflicted. they were -- nobody plans to have an abortion. nobody wants to have an abortion. >> it was a point when i wanted to get out of the car and walk right to them, you know, with my big belly and have them face me and see me and tell them that they can never possibly understand the pain and the
sorrow and the anguish that i was going through. >> on one end of the spectrum, you've got these people that are 100% sure that they're going to abort this baby. on the other hand, there are these at the other end of the spectrum that, if you can reach them, they're the ones that are going to not only stop their car, they're going to roll down their window, and they're going to start reading the material that you hand them. the low hanging fruit is that which is just waiting to be picked. it's just right there. all touf do is ask her, how can we help you? >> on a number of occasions, one of those people trying to persuade incoming patients not to go through with an abortion was a tall, soft-spoken man named scott roeder. >> did you ever sidewalk counsel in the city of wichita? >> yes. >> where would that have been? >> in george tiller's clinic. >> by the early 1990s, scott roeder had committed his life to fighting the abortion battle. but at one time years prior, he
had chosen a much more conventional path. >> i met scott exactly on december 29th, 1981. >> smile pretty. say something clever. >> something clever. >> he wasn't particularly romantic. but he was very sweet and very kind. we just hit it off. there was just something that clicked. there's this one type at our wedding, our heads are back, and we're just laughing. we were just really happy. the trouble started, it was the summer before nick turned 3, and we just weren't making ends meet. and one day he had one of those aha moments. >> can you tell the jury what kind of led up to your conversion? >> yes. i had been watching the 700 club regularly, a christian program. i was alone in my living room, and that day i kneeled down, and i did accept christ as my
savior. >> he discovered the pro life movement. i don't think he'd really given abortion a thought up until '92 or '3i93. >> so what are your feelings on the practice of abortion? >> from conception forward, it is murder. it is not man's job to take life. it is our heavenly father's. >> that's when he really began to meet people. it was shortly after that that he started talking about paul hill and how paul hill had killed the doctor in florida, and that was great. that was wonderful. >> around the same time, roeder began reaching out to rochelle shannon, the imprisoned anti-abortion extremist who had attempted to murder . tiller in 1993. >> and did there come a time when you had face to face visits with her? >> yes. >> so you would go to the prison in topeka and have visits with rochelle shannon? >> yes. >> did you admire shelly
shannon? >> she was -- i guess, yeah. >> you admired her. and you admired her because she had tried to kill dr. tiller? >> i admired the fact that she -- >> is that a yes or a no, sir? >> yes. >> he started talking about how it was murder, that these doctors were murdering babies. if they're going to murder the babies, well, we're going to murder them. if they kill, then they should be killed. it was hard to live with. nick went to school one morning. i went to work, i came home, and scott was gone. the money was gone. his clothes were gone. he was just gone. >> after leaving his family, roeder gets involved with an anti-government militia known as the montana free men. in 1996 he is arrested on the side of a kansas highway. >> he had sovereign citizen tags on his car, so he was pulled over. he had a rifle in the car, and the makings of a bomb. i believed he was going to blow
up a clinic, an abortion clinic. i was very afraid of scott. right after that, i filed for divorce. >> he focused all the rage that he had upon the abortion issue, and he chose dr. tiller as his target. >> one day roeder approaches eddie ebacher, a fellow ex-member of the montana free men with a proposition. >> he came over and pulled me aside and said, would you help me assassinate this doctor? i told him absolutely not. we don't go around snuffing out doctors, not at this time anyway. knowing scott, what he would do is sit and pray about the situation, and i could almost hear the prayer that he would say. it it would be, lord, make me an instrument of your destruction. and apparently, that's exactly what happened. if you are one of the millions of men
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cruz. here's what's happening. i'll have another's bid for the triple crown is over. he has a swollen tendon. he's been scratched from today's belmont stakes. he's now retiring. president obama welcomed the giants to the white house. after congratulating them on their 2012 super bowl victory, they presented him about a jersey. as the millennium turns in wichita, kansas, a growing sense of anxiety and paranoia surrounds dr. tiller and his clinic. and for very good reason, the anti-abortion group operation rescue operates a relentless campaign to shutter dr. tiller's practice for good. >> their approach is to wear him
down and peck at him from every angle l, from harassing him personally at his home to harassing vendors or whoever else might be doing business with the clinic. >> we released a list of people that we called collaborators, those that would collaborate with the abortion industry, if there was any businesses that would have regular association with mr. tiller. we would list that. >> our plumber, our electrician, people that hauled our trash. >> wichita is a pretty big town. there's three cab companies. two of them refused to bring patients from the airport to our clinic. >> fedex said that they wouldn't deliver their packages to us anymore and would it be okay if we just dropped them off some other place. >> it wasn't fedex as a policy. it was our driver, and the driver has the right, apparently, to say that they don't feel safe in a certain location. >> it's like we had become pariahs, and no one wanted to deal with us. >> and it isn't just the
businesses in wichita. it is also his employees who are targeted. >> operation rescue had a website just dedicated to all of us and all of our pictures and names. they knew more about us than we knew about ourselves. >> they start ed finding out where we all lived. >> so our neighbors got these barrage of postcards, some of them quite graphic, outing us. did you know that your neighbor shelly sella is an abortionist? >> did you know your neighbor worked for dr. tiller? >> do you know that cathy reavis is using blood money to pay for her house? >> mostly, it would just make me angry and certain cemented my feelings about why i was working there. >> but none is targeted as
intensely or tenaciously as dr. tiller or his family. for them, real violence always looms. >> he purchased a bulletproof jeep and wore a bulletproof vest. >> he had the federal marshals living with him for something like 30 months in his house. >> there's no way i can imagine what his family went through. it's impossible for me to comprehend that. i don't think they could ever wake up a day and feel secure in the knowledge that nothing was going to happen. >> in an effort to attract as much attention as possible to their campaign against dr. tiller, operation rescue soon set their sights beyond the wichita city limits. >> one of operation rescue's major goals was to make george tiller's name, or at least his abortion facility and what he does a household name. finally, bill o'reilly began picking up the story, and, boy,
he really lit into tiller. >> tiller has killed thousands, thousands of late-term fetuses without explanation. >> he compared them to nazis. he compared them to stalin. he vilified dr. tiller on national tv 28 times. >> tiller, the baby killer. tiller, the baby killer, as some call him, will perform a late-term abortion for just about any reason. >> if you hear endlessly that someone is a killer, killer, killer, he's certainly no longer a person, no longer a human being. >> that kind of behavior adds to the general attitude that it's okay to say hateful things about abortion providers, it's okay to act on that hate toward them. >> beginning in 2006, operation rescue also files a steady stream of complaints about dr. tiller's practice. in june 2007 they have some success with this tactic.
dr. tiller is charged with 19 misdemeanor counts connected to an alleged illegal relationship with a physician who had approved a number of late term procedures. >> in kansas, in order to do a post-viable abortion, you have to have a second kansas physician evaluate the patient and agreed that the pregnancy represents a threat to her health. >> and that physician could not be legally or financially tied to dr. tiller. dr. tiller was accused of having a financial relationship with her. >> in 2009, he stands trial in a wichita courtroom. operation rescue is confident it is just a step away from accomplishing its mission, getting dr. tiller's medical license revoked. >> that's correct. >> the legislature was closing in and tightening the laws. the kansas board of healing arts had filed indictments. i think it was clear that george tiller was very close to
retirement. his abortion clinic was closing very soon. >> on march 27th, 2009, the jury in the case of the state of kansas versus george tiller leaves the courtroom to deliberate. they quickly return with a verdict. >> we, the jury, unanimously find the defendant not guilty of illegal abortion as alleged in count 1. >> and he was acquitted, as somebody said, in less time than it takes to eat a ham sandwich. the jury came right back and said not guilty on all charges. >> it was a big load off of his shoulders, oh, yeah. >> i think for the anti-abortion people, it was a huge disappointment. >> we were so close to having tiller lose his license. i wanted to beat him. >> scott roeder is not a member of operation rescue, but he attends the trial nearly every day. here he's seen sitting beside operation rescue president troy newman. when the trial concludes, roeder is devastateded by the verdict. >> there's no question that tiller's acquittal of those 19
charges was a part of what pushed scott roeder towards the actions that he took. no question. >> did you decide it was incumbent upon you to do something? >> there was nothing being done, and the legal process had been exhausted. and these babies were dying every day. so i felt that i needed to act and quickly for those children. our cloud is made of bedrock. concrete. and steel. our cloud is the smartest brains combating the latest security threats. it spans oceans, stretches continents. and is scalable as far as the mind can see. our cloud is the cloud other clouds look up to. welcome to the uppernet.
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less than an hour, the victory is short-lived. he's immediately notified of another impending investigation. this time by the top medical authority in the state, the kansas board of healing arts, on the exact same charges. >> why? because one of the operation rescue people lodged a complaint on the same charges. >> he didn't even have time to enjoy the fact that he had finally won. then another pleau. it was just never going to end. >> although this was a positive development for operation rescue, it is of little consolation to scott roeder, who was utterly distraught by dr. tiller's acquittal. for roeder, the court's ruling is the last straw. >> the legislature tried, and they weren't successful. and the grand juries weren't successful, and he was acquitted by a jury. somebody had to stop him, and that somebody is going to be me. >> by this point in the spring
of 2009, scott roeder is living apart from his ex-wife and teenage son. he shares an apartment with a roommate, works a series of menial jobs, and spends most of his time studying scripture with others devoted to messianic judaism, a form of christianity. >> there was a bible study he would go to. those individuals would talk about a variety of things. but during those conversations they talked about dr. tiller, that someone must take action and end tiller's life. at that time, i believe roeder really began formulating a plan to end the life of dr. tiller. >> and he finally started to recognize that the only point that he could find him where he would be unaware would be at his church. so scott roeder started to make trips down to wichita. he would go and attend services at the reformation lutheran
church. >> we just thought he was interested in joining our church. >> i couldn't help but notice that he was never a part of the service. he was not worshipping in our church. it bothered me to the point that i followed him out and saw the car that he got into, and i wrote his license tag number at that point. >> he was not accepted by the congregation, did not fit in, but there was never an indication that he was there to hurt dr. tiller. >> on sunday, may 24th, scott roeder travels the 200 miles from his home in kansas city to wichita. he visits the reformation lutheran church once again, this time with full intent to kill dr. tiller. >> scott, were you armed that day? >> yes. >> what were you armed with? >> i believe it was a -- it was the taurus. >> the .22 taurus? >> yes. >> but dr. tiller is not at church that day, so scott roeder
returns to kansas city. five days later, roeder calls his ex-wife with a request to spend the evening with his teenage son. having devoted himself to the laws of messianic judaism and adherence to the friday sabbath, it's very out of character for roeder. >> picked up his son, took him to dinner, spent time with him. again, his son knew that was very unusual, just the fact that it was friday, and on the sabbath that shouldn't have happened. >> they went to dinner. they went to a movie. scott wanted to buy him ice cream. he wanted to go with him to visit with his friends. he didn't want the evening to end. he wanted it to go on and on. one of the first things nick realized, after he had heard about the shooting, after scott had been arrested, was, wow, mom, he was saying good-bye to me. >> the next morning, saturday, may 30th, roeder visits his brother in topeka and then heads
to wichita, checking into a motel by sunday. >> do you remember what you did that night? >> watched tv, ate dinner, went to bed. >> pretty calm evening? >> yeah. >> were you preparing yourself for the next morning? >> yes. ahh, now that's a clean mouth. i wish i could keep it this way. [ dr. rahmany ] after a dental cleaning, plaque quickly starts to grow back. but new crest pro-health clinical plaque control reduces plaque and is clinically proven to help keep it from coming back.
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and then he sees dr. tiller leave by the side door. he got up, and he followed dr. tiller directly out the side door. you walk out the door, and there is dr. tiller? >> yes. >> he was right in front of you. >> yes. >> and you took your gun, and you took it out of your pocket, and it was in your hand, is that right? >> yes. >> and did it appear that he was aware that you were there? >> i don't think he was aware. >> so you caught him unaware? >> i believe so. >> and then you took that steel gun, and you put it at his forehead, is that right? >> yes. >> and when you made contact with his head, you pulled the trigger? >> yes. >> and do you feel that you have successfully completed your mission? >> he's been stopped. >> county 911? >> hi, somebody just came in and shot somebody at our church. >> somebody shot someone?
>> yes, dr. tiller. dr. george tiller was just shot. >> that sunday morning, dr. tiller's staff passes the tragic news to each other by phone. >> i called joanne first, and, of course, she was devastated. >> cathy said, they shot doctor. i remember specifically cathy said they, and that's exactly how we thought of it, they. we knew exactly who they were. >> then i called dr. sella, and i still hear her screaming in my ears, oh, no. you're kidding. you're kidding. >> i don't think i've ever experienced that kind of grief. it seems so wrong. so wrong. that someone who was so incredible, so amazing to be killed. for what? >> during the murder investigation, authorities discover a piece of evidence in scott roeder's car that potentially connects him to operation rescue.
when questioned, operation rescue president troy newman flatly denies any ties to roeder or to the murder. >> one of our phone numbers were found on the dashboard of scott roeder's car after he was arrested, and it was the contact phone number that was the information line. it was where people call to find out where the prayer vigils were, find out what time court hearings started, what time the rallies were. that phone rang nonstop, and it was published on the internet. we're certainly not suspects in this case. >> nearly six months later on january 2nd, 2010, the jury dli delivers their verdict on scott roeder. it takes only 35 minutes to reach a decision. >> we, the jury, find the defendant scott roeder guilty of the crime of first degree murder. >> roeder is sentenced to 50 years without parole. >> scott, do you regret what you did? >> no, i don't. >> do you know if dr. tiller's clinic is still open? >> i've been told it has been
shut down. >> how do you feel about that? >> a sense of relief actually. >> the family made the choice to close the clinic. >> there used to be three clinics in wichita, and now there are none. so patients have to go to either kansas city, which is 200 miles away, or denver, which is 500 miles away. >> what are these women going to do who are getting bad news this week? where are they going to go? what if they're scheduled to go see dr. tiller and now they can't go? i can't even imagine being in that situation. that's horrifying. >> if they don't get help from me, they're going to be sticking pencils into their cervix or throwing their baby in a dumpster or discarding their baby in a plastic bag on the side of the road. we're doing a legal, desperately needed service. >> for those who worked and supported dr. tiller, a raw
anger remains, though not toward the man who pulled the trigger. for them, much of their rage is focused on the anti-abortion forces in wichita who targeted dr. tiller for so many years. >> the ones who don't carry guns definitely incite the ones who do have guns. >> they gather all these people up. they fill them with hate, and then they stand back when the least imbalanced among them does something, and they stand back and say they didn't have anything to do with it. >> we never advocate violence. no, you didn't. you advocated everything else. you put him up to hatred, contempt, and ridicule, and he gets killed, and you step back from it now and say, well, that really wasn't our intent. well, what the hell was your intent? >> it was the furthest thing from the truth that we were in any way involved in george tiller's murder. we were shocked and horrified
stopping the leaks. the u.s. attorney general is determined to get to the bottom of it. who gave up serious national security secrets to the press? monday could be a historic day at the supreme court. could it lead to another epic battle over the president's health care law? i'll have another will lead all horses today, but it's not what you think after hopes are dashed for a triple crown. and in office politics, i talked to los angeles mayor villaraigosa about why fixing a traffic problem could fix the economy. welcome, everyone. huge news in front page politics this morning. controversy over what the